Triple-layered carrot cake with clementine frosting

Crunchy, spicy caramelised pecans make Jo Pratts towering gateau the most decadent carrot cake ever
By Jo Pratt
Triple-layered carrot cake with clementine frosting
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the cake

  • 300 ml sunflower oil
  • 200 g light soft brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 150 g golden syrup
  • 350 g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 400 g carrots, finely grated
  • 150 g sultanas
  • 50 g deciccated coconut

For the caramelised pecans

  • 100 g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp ground allspice

For the frosting

  • 100 g soft unsalted butter
  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 500 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 clementines, finely grated zest only
  • 1 tbsp clear honey, preferably orange blossom


1. For the cake: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Grease three 20cm round cake tins and line them with greaseproof paper.

2. In a large bowl or electric mixer, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and golden syrup until totally combined. Mix in all of the remaining cake ingredients and divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cakes are nicely risen and firm but springy when lightly pressed. Insert a skewer at the centre if you are not sure and if it comes out clean it is cooked. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the caramelised pecans: toss the pecans, sugar and allspice together in a wide non-stick pan then place over a high heat and cook, tossing frequently, until the sugar has caramelised and the nuts are well coated.

5. Line a tray with baking paper, spoon the coated nuts over it and leave them to cool and harden for about 10 minutes. Lightly break the caramelised pecans into small pieces.

6. For the frosting: in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat for another minute or so. Add half the icing sugar and continue mixing on a low speed. Add the clementine zest, honey and remaining icing sugar and mix until the frosting is light and creamy. Chill until needed.

7. Sandwich together the cakes with some of the frosting then use the rest to ice the top. Scatter the caramelised pecans over the top and serve.

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